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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2011

Sergios Dimitriadis

This paper aims to explore benefits customers expect from a long‐term relationship with their bank and the costs associated with such a relationship; it further tests…

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3122

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore benefits customers expect from a long‐term relationship with their bank and the costs associated with such a relationship; it further tests these relational benefits and costs as segmentation variables.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study based on three focus groups was designed to provide initial input on different types of expected relational benefits and costs. Then, quantitative data were collected from a survey of 209 real bank customers.

Findings

Analysis reveals five types of expected benefits and two types of costs. Four clusters were formed out of these seven expected benefits/costs. These clusters are also different on demographic, behavioral and psychographic variables and present clear and consistent relational profiles.

Research limitations/implications

Scales developed from the focus groups need further validation. Also, findings should be considered as sector and context specific. This work brings additional insight into the nature of expected relational benefits and costs, supports their usefulness for customer segmentation and offers opportunities for studying relational benefits and costs in an integrated way.

Practical implications

Findings provide managers with a better understanding of what customers value in the relationship with their bank and what keeps customers back from having a “close” relationship. Also, relational benefits/costs segmentation is suggested as a powerful tool for targeting and positioning.

Originality/value

The study identifies new types of relational benefits and costs. It is the first time expected relational benefits and costs are studied together and confirmed as meaningful segmentation variables.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Shuai Yang, Yiping Song, Sixing Chen and Xin Xia

This study aims to provide a taxonomy of relational benefits that drive customer loyalty in sharing-economy services, assess the relative strengths of these relational

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7008

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to provide a taxonomy of relational benefits that drive customer loyalty in sharing-economy services, assess the relative strengths of these relational benefits in influencing customer loyalty and examine whether commitment mediates the influence of relational benefits on customer loyalty in this context.

Design/methodology/approach

Relational benefits of sharing-economy services were explored through a focus group interview, followed by an online survey completed by 440 respondents in China. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

This study shows that confidence and social benefits have significant and positive effects on commitment in sharing-economy services. In addition, safety benefits, a new type of relational benefits, also significantly affect commitment in this context. Furthermore, the findings suggest that commitment acts as a mediator between confidence, social and safety benefits and customer loyalty. Special treatment benefits had no effect on commitment and loyalty in the sharing-economy context.

Practical implications

This paper provides sharing-economy service providers with insight on how to better create and sustain loyal relationships with customers through the provision of relational benefits.

Originality/value

This study offers initial insight into why customers would stay in peer-to-peer relationships in the sharing economy, and suggests how to strengthen relationships between customers and peer service providers.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Brian R. Kinard and Michael L. Capella

The purpose of this article is to empirically examine the influence of consumer involvement on perceived relational benefits across service types.

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11583

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to empirically examine the influence of consumer involvement on perceived relational benefits across service types.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on Bowen's service typology, responses from patrons of fast‐food restaurants and hairdressers/stylists were used to assess the influence of consumer involvement on relationship marketing, specifically perceived service benefits and response behaviors.

Findings

Results indicate that highly involved consumers perceive greater relational benefits when engaged in a high contact, customized service (i.e. hairdressers/stylists) versus a more standardized, moderate contact service (i.e. fast‐food restaurant).

Research limitations/implications

Care should be taken when generalizing these findings to other service settings as this study only addressed two service types. Thus, an opportunity for future research could add moderate contact, non‐personalized services to determine if there are significant differences between the three service categories. Additionally, this study was based in the USA, thus cultural differences may influence perceived benefits of service firms selected.

Practical implications

The results of this study suggest that a service firm providing a more standardized service offering is better served by hiring and training competent and trustworthy employees than by adopting relational benefit programs. On the other hand, high contact customized service providers are encouraged to engage in relationship activities with highly involved consumers, specifically those related to confidence benefits.

Originality/value

This study confirms the recommendation that relationship marketing may be inappropriate for all service firms. More importantly, the level of consumer involvement with the service has a significant moderating effect on perceived relational benefits.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2018

Che-Hui Lien, Jyh-Jeng Wu, Maxwell K. Hsu and Stephen W. Wang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the mediating effect of functional value and symbolic value between positive moods and word-of-mouth (WOM) referrals in the context…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the mediating effect of functional value and symbolic value between positive moods and word-of-mouth (WOM) referrals in the context of Taiwan’s banking industry. In addition, this study investigates the moderating effect of relational benefits on the relationship between perceived value and WOM.

Design/methodology/approach

The research model was tested using data collected from customers (n=362) of the top 10 domestic banks in Taiwan. Structure equation modeling was employed to test and validate the conceptual model.

Findings

Positive moods are found to be an important predictor of functional value, symbolic value and WOM in this banking service study. Four types of relational benefits are identified including social, special treatment, confidence and face. Note that two distinct segments of bank customers are identified in terms of relational benefits: those who appreciate face benefits (n1=169), and those who appreciate general relational benefits (n2=193). The findings reveal the existence of partial mediation between a banking customer’s mood and WOM through functional value and symbolic value in the overall sample (n=362). However, it was found that functional value partially mediates the influence of positive moods on WOM among respondents in the “general relational benefits” segment only. That is, relational benefits are found to moderate the relationship between functional value and WOM.

Originality/value

This study expands the existing body of knowledge on customers’ perceptions of value by differentiating types of value perceptions.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Yong-ki Lee, Sally Kim, Min-Seong Kim, Jae-Han Lee and Ki-Taek Lim

This paper aims to examine the effect of different relational bonding strategies on franchisees’ perceptions of benefits. The duration of the relationship is framed as a…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the effect of different relational bonding strategies on franchisees’ perceptions of benefits. The duration of the relationship is framed as a moderator between three types of relational bonds and the perceived benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

The data are collected via a survey from foodservice franchisees in South Korea. To test the study’s hypotheses, the research model was estimated with two-stage least squares.

Findings

The result shows that social and structural bonds have a significant impact on franchisees’ perceptions of benefits. There are some significant interactions between different types of relational bonds and the duration of the relationship. Perceptions of benefits are found to influence satisfaction, intentions to recommend, intentions to renew the contract and long-term orientation.

Practical implications

The study suggests that franchisors may want to focus on developing and strengthening social bonds, and also customize their relational approaches based on the duration of the relationship with the franchisees.

Originality/value

This research illustrates the impact of three types of relational bonding strategies on franchisees’ perceptions of the benefits and also examines the significant moderating role of the duration of the relationship.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2013

Cori Hodge, Harmen Oppewal and Civilai Terawatanavong

Conversion franchising is a strategy where franchisors recruit existing franchisees from rival systems or by converting independent businesses to franchisees. The present…

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2408

Abstract

Purpose

Conversion franchising is a strategy where franchisors recruit existing franchisees from rival systems or by converting independent businesses to franchisees. The present research aims to investigate the attractiveness of conversion offers and the likelihood of such offers being accepted under different conditions of the franchising agreement.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on commitment theory and agency theory, it is hypothesised that conversion likelihood will be larger if the conversion offer is more attractive in terms of relational benefits, relational costs, the management of control in the franchise relationship, or perception of brand strength. The study comprises a qualitative phase followed by a scenario experiment held among 415 Australian business format franchisees across six industries.

Findings

The qualitative findings reveal a predominantly calculative attitude towards the franchise relationship. The experimental findings support that relational costs and perception of brand strength are unconditional drivers of conversion likelihood; however, the effects of relational benefits and power and control depend on the details of the conversion offer. Effects of relational benefits depend on the level of power and control. More experienced franchisees and service-based franchisees are more likely to convert.

Research limitations/implications

The use of experimental case scenarios limits the external validity but enhances the internal validity by allowing control for factors that are difficult to account for in survey-based approaches. The study includes only franchisees from Australia although from a range of industries. The proposed methodology can be easily modified for other contexts.

Practical implications

The results can help franchisors tailor conversion proposals to suit specific conversion targets based on experience and industry type. Franchisors should generally focus on developing conversion proposals that are attractive in terms of perceived brand strength and relational costs. Relational benefits and management of power and control appear to play a role only in particular circumstances. For example, when no other factors differentiate the competitor, the management of power and control can make a difference in indicating franchise support quality and level of control among franchisees.

Originality/value

The study extends franchising research to the franchisee perspective and to a non-American context. It utilises an experimental approach that hitherto had not been applied in franchising research, allowing rigorous testing of hypotheses about franchise behaviour. Hypotheses are tested for different industry groups.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 47 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2010

Sergios Dimitriadis

This paper aims to investigate the different types of perceived relational benefits in the bank‐retail customer relationship. It further seeks to assess the influence of…

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2518

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the different types of perceived relational benefits in the bank‐retail customer relationship. It further seeks to assess the influence of these benefits on satisfaction with the bank and on three behavioral outcomes, word‐of‐mouth, intention to continue the relationship and cross‐buying.

Design/methodology/approach

Three focus groups with retail bank customers were conducted to identify perceived relational benefits. Then exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were run on survey data to confirm the structure of relational benefits. Finally, a structural equation model was estimated in order to test the relationships between relational benefits, satisfaction with the bank and behavioral outcomes. The country of study was Greece.

Findings

Five types of perceived relational benefits were identified: two trust‐related (competence and benevolence), special treatment, social and convenience. Only competence and convenience significantly affect satisfaction with the bank. No direct link between relational benefits and behavioral outcomes was found, as satisfaction plays a mediating role between them.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are context specific but extend previous knowledge on the nature of relational benefits and point out the need to study trust benefits in a multidimensional way as well as to further confirm “convenience” relational benefits.

Practical implications

Findings suggest additional leverages to build relationships and help identify priorities for enhancing overall bank satisfaction through relational actions.

Originality/value

This is the first time that two types of trust‐related benefits are distinguished and a convenience benefit is identified. Further, two of these newly identified benefits (convenience and competence) are the ones that build satisfaction.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Emily C. Tanner and Lixun Su

The purpose of this study is to understand how perceived vulnerability reduces consumers’ willingness to utilize services offered by nonprofit organizations (NPOs).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand how perceived vulnerability reduces consumers’ willingness to utilize services offered by nonprofit organizations (NPOs).

Design/methodology/approach

Three online surveys were conducted across two research contexts to test the proposed model. Hayes’ PROCESS was used to analyze the data.

Findings

Perceived vulnerability decreases the perception of relational benefits, which in turn decrease consumers’ commitment to NPOs. Reduced commitment lessens consumers’ willingness to cooperate and acquiesce to organizations’ recommendations. Risk aversion and cognitive ability mediate the relationship between perceived vulnerability and perceived relational benefits.

Research limitations/implications

The findings uncover mechanisms through which perceived vulnerability influences perceived relational benefits, contributing to the understanding of behaviors of consumers that perceive vulnerable. This paper does not manipulate consumers’ perceived vulnerability but only measures their perceived vulnerability, limiting the explanatory power of causal relationships between perceived vulnerability and perceived relational benefits.

Practical implications

This study can provide some insight for NPOs about how to better serve their target population. To increase willingness to utilize service offerings, NPOs should decrease their perceived risks of new services.

Originality/value

This paper clarifies why consumers that perceive vulnerability are not willing to deploy the NPOs’ services which could improve their situation by demonstrating that cognitive ability and risk aversion mediate the relationship between perceived vulnerability and perceived relational benefits.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Book part
Publication date: 16 June 2005

Thorsten Hennig-Thurau, Kevin P. Gwinner, Dwayne D. Gremler and Michael Paul

Customer relational benefits have been identified as a driving motivation for consumers to engage in long term relationships with service providers. Such benefits can be…

Abstract

Customer relational benefits have been identified as a driving motivation for consumers to engage in long term relationships with service providers. Such benefits can be expected to play a crucial role in the success of service firms when extending their business into other countries and cultures. Most of the previous discussion of relational benefits has been conducted almost exclusively in North-American contexts and has not addressed the impact a nation’s culture may have on the relevance of relational benefits for gaining relationship outcomes such as customer loyalty. The aim of this article is to deepen our understanding of the role of relational benefits in developing long-term relationships with consumers in a cross-cultural context. Specifically, propositions focusing on the moderating role of power distance, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, and uncertainty avoidance for the benefits-outcomes relationship are developed. The article concludes with a discussion of potential implications for service firms and researchers.

Details

Research on International Service Marketing: A state of the Art
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-185-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2021

Janine Hobeika

Despite interest in social stereotypes such as gender, race and age, professional stereotypes of frontline employees is still a new topic that requires measurement in the…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite interest in social stereotypes such as gender, race and age, professional stereotypes of frontline employees is still a new topic that requires measurement in the banking services. The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a reliable banker stereotype scale that reflects all useful dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-dimensional scale is developed using a mixed method in the French context. Qualitative data were collected from two samples (11 private banking clients, 17 retail banking clients). Quantitative data were collected from two diversified samples built by quotas: an exploratory sample (n = 226) and a confirmatory sample (n = 579). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to test and validate the scale.

Findings

The measurement scale proves to be valid and reliable. The scale is then used in a conceptual model as an explanatory factor of expected relational benefits where relations are analyzed using structural equation modeling. The model successfully provides some explanatory links between the banker stereotypes and the expected relational benefits.

Practical implications

The concept of the professional stereotype can be further used to better understand relationship quality and customer satisfaction through relational benefits, and more widely as a part of the know your customer (KYC) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) procedures.

Originality/value

The scale identifies four behavioral dimensions (partner, paternalistic, subordinate and shark) and one about dress code (formal clothing).

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

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